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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My dog has very dry skin. Hes losing his hair. First we

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My dog has very dry skin. He's losing his hair. First we noticed a bloody patch where we brushed gently and the hair came out w/ blood. Why would this happen?

HI daysgoby,

The lab is prone to seborrhea, hot spots, allergies (Atopy), and hypothyroidism. All of which could cause hair loss , sores, or scratching. Hot spots would cause a sore especially if the dog scratches a lot. Atopy and seborrhea can also leave sores.


Bacterial, fungal and yeast problems are other causes for hair loss and sores but to determine any of these a vet would have to do a skin scraping.


Seborrhea would need a special shampoo to treat, hot spots would require you to clean the wound frequently with antibacterial soap and apply a triple antibiotic ointment on it, Allergies or Atopy would also require medication .


You also must consider that maybe he did get hurt on something and a scab was starting to form and when you brushed him the scab and hair came out. Try treating it with an antibacterial oinment and see if it clears up.


As you can see, skin problems for the Lab are many and the best thing to do is to have the dog examined to determine the cause if treating it at home does not work.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX just don't think any of these is our dog's problem. He has cancer (mast cell tumor) and has been on Prednisone, Antihistamines and Anti Stomach acid medicines. We lower the dosages of those and then the hair began to fall out. We think it is because the antihistamines are now not as strong and that when they were they really dried his skin out. So, I was just checking to see if it was possible something else. But, the issues you mentioned may really not be applicable here. Thank you.

Oh, you did not mention that in your original post. I'll go ahead and opt out, maybe one of our other experts can give you some advice. Best of luck to you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry about that. Thank you. Lyn
Hi Lyn!
Sally asked me to drop by to see if I could help at all. In order to better assist you, please could I get a bit more information.

Please could you tell me how long your dog has been on prednisone, and how much? Also, how much does the dog weigh?

Is the area where the hair came out still bleeding?

Please could you check your dog for bruising - look on the whites of his eyes, and in the groin and armpit areas.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Dear Fiona,

Well, Crosby was diagnosed 1/08 and we started the Prednisone in about 2/08 I think. I have to get back to you on the exact dosage now. I'm not there and Mike takes care of him. He weighs approximately 85lbs I think. As far as still bleeding. No, it's not still bleeding. I'll also have to get back to you on the bruising. Well as far as his eyes - well, he's got catarats. Crosby is 11yrs old...birthday 6/7/97. So, I need to write back with those two points, the Prednisone dosage and the bruising. Thank You so much for your help and caring! Crosby's a Very Special Dog!
I'll look forward to hearing from you Lyn!

I have to go pick my kids up from school, but will be back this evening after dinner (about 5 hours from now).

Can you also tell me:

- has Crosby been panting a lot?

- does he drink a lot and urinate a lot?

- does he have a "potty" belly that seems to sag down?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
<p>Hi Fiona,</p><p> </p><p>I'll hope to get back to you tonight but if I have problems getting online I'll have to wait till tomorrow.</p><p> </p><p>Thanks, Lyn</p>
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
<p>Fiona,</p><p> </p><p>Here's the answers to your questions:</p><p> </p><p>15mg of Prednisone. Mike thinks that he hasn't been on it since Feb. We can't remember so I'll guesstamate maybe June.</p><p> </p><p>No bruising, no panting a lot, not really on the drinking & urinating alot (he use to but not really anymore) and no to the pot belly</p><p> </p><p>Lyn</p>
Hmmmm... well, that pretty much squashes my idea that this might be due to prolonged effects of high doses of prednisone! ;-)

Back to the drawing board!

Is your Lab overweight, underweight or ideal weight?

Does he have any little pink pimples in his groin or his armpit areas?

Is he itchy?

Where on his body did this hair loss occur with the bleeding? Was it his neck, or his back near his tail, or other?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you Fiona. We believe now that it is prolonged use of high doses of Prednisone. It's so sad that Crosy's hair is falling out. We're trying to lower the dosage slowly. We're working w/ our vet finally. Times are so hard. We're going broke. We are broke. Thank you so much for all your help!! Your great. Lyn-Dell
Hi again Lyn-Dell,

Well, that totally makes sense!

I think when we talked before you thought maybe he had been off the steroids since June so I abandoned my suspicion that this is what was at the bottom of Crosby's hair loss.

However, if he has been on them still, then we do see something called "Iatrogenic Cushing's disease."

Symptoms that are common are voracious appetite, drinking a lot, urinating a lot (often the dog suddenly needs to go out overnight when he didn't before), a "pot" belly, thin skin on the belly, hair loss, panting and a preference for cold places. Usually the symptoms come on fairly gradually.

The symptoms should resolve as you wean Crosby off the steroids. :-)

I hope that helps you.

If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

Best wishes to you all!


Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Oh, and I also wanted to give you some suggestions for where to turn for financial aid.

I'd start with the local animal shelters to see if they know of any low cost or subsidized vet care in your area.

Nationally here are some groups that might help you afford the vet bills:

American Animal Hospital Association
" Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."

Angels 4 Animals
"Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment
to those pets and pet owners in need."

Care Credit
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"With a comprehensive range of plan options, for
treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan
and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every

God's Creatures Ministry
"This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help."

"Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the
working poor."

"We are dedicated to insure that no
companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker
is financially challenged."

The Pet Fund
"The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that
provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need
urgent veterinary care."

United Animal Nations
"The m ission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued
animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require
specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve
Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured
animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens
and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care."

They also keep a list of local and national help resources here

Of these, the most reliable one in terms of providing assistance is I have heard very good reports about them!

If you feel my answer has been helpful, please hit the "Accept" button and leave feedback. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!

Good luck, and best wishes for your baby! Please let me know how he does.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I think something must be wrong.   I had $9 credit in my account. I already accepted the answer. If there's still a problem. Let me know. Thanks, Lyn-Dell
Hi again Lyn-Dell..

As far as I can tell from this end, you didn't hit the ACCEPT button. Until you do that, the $9 deposit stays with Just Answer and I don't actually get paid...

If you hit accept, then a part of that money gets transferred to my credit. :-)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't have any money in my account right now. I have to make a deposit today. I hope to finalize this in the next day.
Thank you again, I've had some family stuff going on and haven't even had a chance to make it to the bank. L
I'll refer this to a moderator... but as far as I can tell, you have already paid the money to Just Answer, and there would be no further charge.

Pushing accept would just transfer the money to me, but would not cost you anything further.

I will ask a moderator to confirm that as I definitely don't want you charged twice! :-)

I have been happy to help you and hope your dog is getting better!
Fiona :-)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much for all your help. I can tell you really care. Crosby is up and down. He does have that Cushings disease you mentioned and threw up a few days ago. He's coming down slowly off his prednisone and is still losing a lot of hair. Hope he hangs in there!! Take Care, Lyn-Dell
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Dr. Fiona, I don't know if you'll see this reply but thank you for your advice. Crosby was in so much pain on Jan. 4th 2009 that Mike had to have him put to sleep. I really miss him and will always love him. I'm so Sad!!! I paid off the amount that I owed. I'm thankful to have had such a wonderful dog. I'm crying now and must go. Lyn-Dell
Lyn-Dell and Mike,

Oh, I am so very sorry that Crosby is gone. I am so sorry for your loss!

I can only imagine the hole in your daily lives where Crosbly used to be. My thoughts are with you both...

When I lost my beloved dog, Sprite, I found some comfort in this poem and I hope that it brings you comfort:
Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
<p>Thank you Dr. Fiona, for your words of comfort. I have read this poem and it is sweet but it's so sad too.   I miss Crosby so much. He came into my dreams two nights in a row. But, hasn't returned. There will never ever be another Crosby. </p><p> </p><p>Mike's so depressed he can't stand it. He was so close with Crosby.</p><p> </p><p>Thank you for caring about our Crosby. You are a great caring soul and very good doctor. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX Mike</p>